15 th Nov Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then I’ll Begin..
TRAC’s Team Share Their Tips For A Healthy Back At Work
Back pain…something the majority of office professionals encounter during their career. It’s well documented that sitting for extended periods can be a contributing factor towards back pain in the office. As the day progresses our posture changes with an increased probability of us slouched down or over the desk. This slouching can overstretch the spinal ligaments and increase the pressure on the spinal discs. Make these small adjustments in the office and not only see improvements to your health but you’ll soon find you’re more efficient with your workload!
Tip 1 – Sit up!
It is all too easy to sit down for several hours and find yourself two hours later in a slouched position. You’ll have heard this before, but taking regular breaks is easier said than done. Why not take set an Outlook reminder to simply stand up every 30 minutes. This break prevents you slipping further down the chair and refreshes your mind mentally, improving your concentration as well as your posture. Taking breaks allows the muscles in your back to relax, so when you stand up, why not take a short walk to the water cooler or kettle. Improving your posture is one of the most important changes you can make to back pain prevention.
Tip 2 – Making adjustments to your workstation
Have you taken the time to assess your workstation and determine if improvements could be made? These are the key adjustments you should look to make to your workstation:
Adjust the height of the chair
– You should be able to use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor
– Your elbows should be by the side of your body so the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint
Sitting in an appropriate chair, with the following functions:
– Lumbar support
– Head rest
– Height adjustable
– Breathable material
– These functions help reduce the likelihood of potential back-related issues when sitting for prolonged periods
– Resting your feet on the floor
– Your feet should be flat on the floor when sat down. If not, then you should use a footrest which allows you to rest your feet
– PC monitor at eye level
– The screen should be directly in front of you, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. Your PC monitor may not have the adjustment capability to meet this requirement. If so, you can purchase a monitor stand which can provide the extra height if required
Tip 3 – The Alternative
If you want to try an alternative option to treating office back related pain, then standing desks are a fantastic option. Standing desks allow a better posture as the monitor will already be at eye level. They also provide other health benefits such as reducing weight gain risk, improving mood and energy levels. If you plan to transition to a standing desk, it is recommended you migrate in a staged process. Sitting down from 7 hours a day to 7 hours standing will not work for the majority of individuals. Instead you should look to increment the time spent at your standing desk, starting from 30 minutes and working upwards. However in the majority of cases these are best used as a hot desk where you work for an hour at a time and then move back to your traditional desk, giving the muscles in your back time to relax.
Tip 4 – Office Massages
This tip may not be feasible for every office; but why not look into the possibility of trying this out? Office massages whilst at work have grown in popularity, relieving physical and mental stress all from the comfort of your desk. The massages generally take 10 minutes but most companies offer longer sessions up to 30 minutes if required. Here at TRAC Services we asked the nearby college to come to our office with their trainee students and provide us with their office massage programme. Using your nearby college can help students gain valuable experience, whilst being a cost-effective solution for your business. Some Professional Spa businesses also offer an office massage service if you would prefer fully qualified therapists to attend the office to treat your team at the end of the week.
Now remember.. sit up!